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Noem Writes $5M in Checks Since Taking Office

Governor Kristi Noem’s office has written $5.04 million worth of checks to 165 vendors since the Castlewood Carhaart Queen took charge in January. (Funny Ryan Sheldon doesn’t videographize those into glamour-shot signing ceremonies.) Here’s my compilation of the recipients getting Kristi’s autograph on their cash from January 9 through April 19 of this year, as downloaded from the really fun South Dakota Open Checkbook:

Vendor Name
SOUTH DAKOTA HABITAT CONSERVAN $1,100,000
SD PARKS & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION $900,000
CITY OF DEADWOOD $510,000
SOUTH DAKOTA ELLSWORTH DEV AUT $300,000
LINCOLN COUNTY AUDITOR $225,000
WEBSTER AREA SCHOOL DIST 18-5 $214,732
USD BUSINESS OFFICE $210,078
BERESFORD-CITY OF $195,151
NORTH SIOUX CITY–CITY OF $187,500
KEYSTONE TOWN OF $141,325
SOUTH DAKOTA AGRICULTURAL FOUN $100,000
ARLINGTON COMMUNITY $93,750
FIRST NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEV $65,000
BLUNT-CITY OF $64,323
SIOUX FALLS DEVELOPMENT $63,221
BANKWEST INC $57,560
WINNER-CITY OF $56,947
REDSTONE LAW FIRM LLP $42,360
DEVELOPMENT COUNSELLORS $41,127
SD CHAMBER OF COMMRC & INDSTRY $40,000
APPLIED ENGINEERING INC $39,801
HP INCORPORATED $31,597
GROVENA TOWNSHIP MOODY COUNTY $30,360
NEWELL SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-2 $28,038
JERRY LYNN POMMER $24,055
CITIBANK NA $23,064
PHILIP-CITY OF $19,065
PC CONNECTION SALES CORPORATIN $17,229
ADVANCED REMOTE SENSING INC $11,137
COSCDA $8,008
RURAL ELECTRIC ECONOMIC $7,000
CITY OF ABERDEEN $6,272
BLACK HILLS COUNCIL LOCAL GOVT $6,250
CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA $6,250
FIRST DISTRICT ASSOCIATION OF $6,250
NORTHEASTCOUNCIL GOVERNMENTS $6,250
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT DISTIII $6,250
SOUTHEASTERN COUNCIL OF GOVTS $6,250
BAUMGARTEN, CELENA $6,139
MAY ADAM GERDES & THOMPSON $6,083
CLAUSEN & RICE LLC $5,795
I & S GROUP INC $5,664
TVEYES INC $5,400
PANTHER GRAPHICS LLC $5,315
VANTAGE POINT SOLUTIONS INC $5,300
STEVE GILLILAND INC $5,150
ALL PRINTING SOLUTIONS INC $4,886
ZEAL $4,674
AVALON CAPITAL GROUP II LLC $4,641
DUN BRADSTREET INC $4,500
INNOVATIVE OFFICE SUPPLIES LLC $3,995
CENTERVILLE DEVELOPMENT CORPON $3,902
AT&T MOBILITY II LLC $3,412
SD HERITAGE STORE $3,294
DAVENPORT EVANS HURWITZ LLP $3,100
CCH INCORPORATED $3,050
APPLE INC $2,738
LAWRENCE & SCHILLER INC $2,500
LOGMEIN USA INC $2,388
SYNCHRONY BANK $2,250
REED ELSEVIER INC $2,190
GREATER HURON DEVELOPMENT CORP $2,000
THE STUDIO PHOTOS TO GO $1,935
DAKOTA STATE UNIVERISTY $1,854
SOUTH DAKOTA BANKERS ASSOC $1,800
ATLAS ADVERTISING LLC $1,768
ROVEZA INC $1,613
PRAIRIE DANCE INC $1,600
AD-STAR SALES INC $1,582
ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE $1,561
TRAIL KING INDUSTRIES INC $1,500
HIGH POINT NETWORKS LLC $1,436
NOEM, KRISTI $1,382
HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY $1,335
RHODEN, LARRY $1,234
HP INC $1,119
FEDEX $1,066
LAMINESTRA INC $962
SENNETT, GAYLE $960
S&S INC $958
MADPRUNE INC $956
GRAINGER $949
GROUND CONTROL SYSTEMS INC $929
KG FOODS INC $888
SHEETS, DEBORA $853
TRIPLE JT INC $784
MULTIMEDIA HOLDINGS CORP $774
FORELL LIMOUSINE SERVICE INC $750
REGENCY MIDWEST VENTURES LTD $741
SD KHAN HOTELS LLC $684
COUNTRY CARPET & FLOORING $681
NATI ASSN OF STATE ENERGY OFFC $675
B&H FOTO & ELECTRONICS CORP $647
FS MIDWEST RESTAURANT VENTURES $578
FURNITURE OUTLETS USA $565
MASABA INC $525
CELARTEM INC $506
ABERDEEN DEVELOPMENT CORP $500
HEARTLAND EDC $500
WOSTER, TERRY R $500
THOMSON WEST $499
MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS $495
ROBINS WATER CONDITIONING INC $490
SHI INTERNATIONAL CORP $431
WASTE CONNECTIONS OF SD INC $411
SOFTWARE HOUSE INTL $403
WEST UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SE $377
JP METZINGER LLC $342
BUSH, MICHELE A $312
CHASE, ROGER $300
CUSTOM ROTO MOLD LLC $300
ALL-AROUND INC $288
SHIBA INVESTMENTS INC $285
BUMANN, DEBRA L $264
LONGEVITY CORP $262
ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS $262
US HOTEL ACS VENTURES $258
AT&T TELECONFERENCE SERVICES $246
T J OLSON LLC $180
SOLBERG, LLOYD E $165
WICK COMMUNICATIONS, INC $161
WATERTOWN PUBLIC OPINION $160
SEATON PUBLISHING CO INC $160
CAMPEA, ABBEY $157
KEHRWALD, DIANE M $153
PIERRE AREA CHAMBER OF COMM $151
GRONLUND, LAURIE J $147
HOFER, JOAN R $124
SD HOSPITALITY LLC $114
DE SMET SUPER DELUXE INN $110
KELLY MIDWEST VENTURES LP $110
LESTER HOSPITALITY $110
ZIMMERMAN, SANDRA C $99
SPIVEY-PAUL, CATHI $95
SISSON PRINTING INC $93
B & H PUBLISHING INC $90
SOUTH DAK ASSOC OF TELE COOPS $90
CASANOVA-KELLER, JACI $86
SCHREINER ENTERPRISES INC $78
ALLIED SOLUTIONS LLC $75
SCHWANS PUBLICATIONS INC $71
SOUTH DAKOTA MUNICIPAL LEAGUE $60
HURON NEWSPAPERS LLC $58
NOVEYA INCORPORATED $57
DE SMET NEWS $55
HOSPITALITY PLUS $55
JACKSON ENTERPRISES INC $55
SHAYONA HOSPITALITY LLC $55
RAVELLETTE PUB INC $47
MISSOURI DAKOTA PUBLISHING INC $45
THUNDERBIRD MEDIA INC $45
BROOKINGS NEWSPAPERS LLC $45
RAVELLETTE PUBLICATIONS INC $44
SANBORN WEEKLY JOURNAL INC $44
SOUTH DAKOTA MAIL NEWSPAPER $43
SHARON HUIZENGA $42
BRODEENS INC $40
HOVEN MEDIA INC $37
KRISTI PUBLISHING INC $37
CBCINNOVIS INC $36
THE PRIDE $36
SOUTH DAKOTA LAW REVIEW $35
SIOUX VALLEY NEWS INC $31
SIOUX FALLS RUBBER STAMP WORKS $29
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE $5
Total Result $5,039,254

The two biggest checks so far, totaling $2 million for habitat efforts, were written in January. The $215K to the Webster Area School District is a loan from the Governor’s energy conservation fund. Nice to see such green priorities topping the Governor’s ledger.

A lot of the money is the usual GOED gravy. The lawyers are in, too, with Noem’s boon companion Matt McCaulley leading the legal charges, bringing in over $42K in two checks written to his Redstone Law Firm on March 29 (Veto Day!) and April 5. That’s just under a third of the sweetheart contract McCaulley got for Redstone as a parting gift from his work on the Noem campaign and transition team.

The $41K for Development Counsellors is part of $264K the New York-based PR company has drawn from the Governor’s office since they came on for the Daugaard Administration in February 2018 to get GOED more publicity ($135K contract) and then redesign and maintain GOED’s SDReadytoWork.com website ($200K contract, through FY2021). Zoom zoom, swipe swipe….

Governor Noem has only written one $2,500 to South Dakota ad market-cornerers Lawrence & Schiller, but I’m sure they’ll catch up. Besides, that’s just the check from the Governor’s account; Lawrence & Schiller continues to enjoy a steady stream of cash from the Departments of Tourism, Revenue, Public Safety, and others—$48,173.82 in 56 checks issued just last Wednesday, $2,312,929.04 since Noem’s inauguration, and $4,782,043.31 so far this fiscal year.

Feel free to look for your own Easter eggs in the state checkbook.

12 Comments

  1. Mr. Sol 2019-04-21

    A compilation of who’s who in this state.

  2. Curt 2019-04-21

    It’s hard to know where to begin … all of us could select at least a half dozen glaring examples of pay-to-play and it’s just business as usual. One that caught my eye is $40K to the State C of C. I know it probably goes back a generation (or so) but are you OK w/ that? C of C is principally a lobbying unit and it seems awkward that we-the-people spend our money for that.

  3. David Owen, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2019-04-21

    The money paid to the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry is used entirely as prize money for the “Giant Vision Entrepreneurship Competition”. None of this money is used for administrative expenses or is co-mingled with the Chamber’s operating funds in any manner.

    Plus, the entire amount is matched by contributions from Chamber members. The combined total is strictly prize money. Chamber members raise additional funds for sponsorship funds to cover administrative costs.

    There is a business competition with a top prize of $20,000 and a student competition with a top prize of $5,000. This competition has been an annual event for about 13 years.

    As a regular reader of this blog I often see supportive comments made and items reported about the importance of encouraging people to think about getting into business and what public policies are needed to encourage local, small business growth in the economy.

    This competition is the Chamber’s answer to that question. This competition has seen some great success stories and received prize funding from several Governor’s administrations. We will be evaluating the competition with the new administration to make sure it remains viable, strong will serve the interests of the next generation of business men and women.

    We will never use any of the state’s funds for Chamber operations.

    I look forward to comments from this blog about the best ways to encourage entrepreneurship and would hope for ideas to make this effort as successful as possible.

  4. Debbo 2019-04-21

    Lots of lawyers.

  5. Adam 2019-04-21

    NOEM, KRISTI $1,382
    HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY. $1,335
    RHODEN, LARRY. $1,234
    HP INC. $1,119

    Ranked in order, yet there is only one HP and that is Hewlett-Packard. LOL.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-21

    See, Curt? All legit!

    Thank you, Mr. Owen, for your forthright explanation of how the Chamber uses the $40K it receives for the “Giant Vision Entrepreneurship Competition.” The deadline for applications was Feb 15 and the contest was April 11—who won?

    Commenters, we need to think up some ideas to win the 2020 contest and plow some of that Governor’s cash into independent journalism. Maybe we can make a meta-entrepreneurship case: it’s not as important that the blog itself make money (although we will welcome all the Tip Jar ringing David Owen’s Chamber members can muster!) as that the blog have sufficient resources to continue to promote transparency, inclusion, and other modern values that will attract more workers and creators and make South Dakota’s economy stronger for all participants.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-21

    Those “HP Inc” charges are a total of twelve checks, ranging from $8.70 to $221.02, for “Office Supplies”… maybe HP ink?

    The “Hewlett Packard Company” got three payments, $70, $70, and $1,195, for “Computer Hardware.”

  8. David Owen 2019-04-22

    Regarding the winners.

    April 11th saw one of South Dakota’s spring blizzards and the cancellation of both the Governor’s Office of Economic Development annual conference and the finals of the Giant Vision competition.

    We have just completed the logistics for conducting the finals for the competition using online presentations for the judges. We should be able to announce the winners within a couple of weeks.

  9. Adam 2019-04-22

    Thank you, Cory, for following up on the HP thing. I’m an Epson man; so I was just unaware that their ink company has been separated from their hardware company. I should have known better though – they’ve been gearing themselves around hardware for a number of years now.

    But then I also noticed another live item much closer to the top:
    HP INCORPORATED $31,597

    How many HP entities could there be? Something smells a little fishy, or it could just be slightly shoddy book keeping.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-22

    Ah, the blizzard! That explains why I couldn’t Google up the results in the press. Online presentations: live or recorded? Send us links, Dave! We could live-stream the contest here on Dakota Free Press!

  11. david owen 2019-04-24

    Understanding this conversation is getting to be dated, wanted to explain that the presentations include financial information and propriety information that is considered to be private so we will not have those presentations available for public viewing.

    During the competition each finalist sets up a booth and is available to the public during the GOED conference. Also each of them does an “elevator pitch” which is recorded. We would encourage you to attend the competition in the future and interview the finalists and we could find a way to share the elevator pitches with your readers.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-25

    Not public? Proprietary information? Darn it! Where’s the accountability?! Sounds rigged to me!

    [breathe… breathe…]

    Did the blizzard snow out the booths this year?

    I have to admit, if I were an entrepreneur, I’d love to have some version of my presentation posted to the web for all the world of venture capitalists to see. have them make e-booths, video versions so that we all could “walk through” their public presentations, hear their elevator pitches (should we now call them “tweets”?), and help them build their budding brands. How about next year, David? Instead of booths with (gasp!) papers and posters, how about an electronic expo (and you can still preserve the secret gathering for exclusive proprietary information)?

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